Friday, January 11, 2008

Flip should have known better...

It was an interesting night for the Detroit teams. The Wings lost to the Wild in a shootout, and the Pistons beat the Spurs on the 2nd game of a back to back.

A very nice win for the Pistons, and a nice comeback for the Red Wings to gain a point, after being down 4-2. (Even though the Wings gave up the tying goal with under a minute left in the game)

But did they mean much in the big scheme of things? They are still in 1st place in their respective divisions, their playoff races are moot, and it's the middle of January! So no, the wins meant squat. Which is why I'm not upset by Chris Osgood allowing 5 goals, or overly excited by the Pistons beating one of the best teams in the west. Well, I did get worked up over one thing, specifically in regard to the Pistons...

What means more in mid Janurary? Winning a meaningless game, or developing players, finding the right rotation combinations and preparing for the playoffs? You know correct answer.

So why did Flip Saunders shorten the bench last night? Why did he have 'Sheed (Who was great, by the way), Rip Hamilton, and Chauncey Billups in at the end of a 10 point game, one that had been well in hand for most of the 4th quarter?

I've been more than willing to cut Flip some slack, as he has the Pistons playing their best ball in 2 seasons, and has begun to develop a bench that actually looks playoff level presentable. But his rotation last night made little sense. Yes, the Pistons had lost 2 straight games. They might have caught a little Hell if the losing streak had extended to 3 games. Big God damn deal!

There was no reason to play the starters so deep in the game, with 3 starters on the floor at the buzzer. I spent the last few minutes of the TNT broadcast with my hands over my eyes, afraid of one of the Pistons vital to a long playoff run would turn an ankle or pop a ligament during garbage time.

Did I overreact? Probably. Was it a legitimate worry? I think so.

Forget about the MSM comparisons to the Celtics, who may be making the same mistake the Pistons made 2 seasons ago. Screw winning 60 games. They should care less about losing the occasional battle now, and prepare to win the playoff wars.

I know it was only one game. But I do NOT want to see a shortened Pistons bench become the rule, when it should be then the exception.

We need to see Maxiell, Stuckey, Hayes, and Affalo get as much PT as possible, seperately, and as a unit. Because we all know that sometime during the playoff run, someone, or even all of them, will have to play significant minutes due to injury or ineffectiveness in May and June. Which is why "Sheed, Hamilton and Billups should not have played the minutes they did against the Spurs.

I hope Flip realizes his mistake. We'll be watching...

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